Tag Archives: Hiking

Down Under and Over the Hills: Australia’s Best Camping Spots

Special thanks to Alex Johnson from Sydney, Australia for writing this week’s guest post. Alex is a 23-year-old lover of life, brunch & adventure. After moving to Sydney when finishing a journalism degree, he began his blog Inspire A Better Life to positively influence others to get out there and see all life has to offer. Join Alex as he discovers this life, one day at a time, documenting his thoughts and other along the way!

Today Alex shares some of his country’s best camping spots with UndiscoveredWanderings. With winter coming to our neck of the woods, Australia’s summer is just around the corner–a perfect time to head Down Under and visit these fantastic places! Thank you, Alex, and welcome to the UWanderings community!


Five Best Camping Spots in Australia
-By Alex Johnson

You have all your gear and you’re raring to go for your next big camping adventure in Australia, but where do you go? What are the best camping spots in Australia? Well, here is a list of the five best camping spots to get you going on your next big adventure.

Broken Hill, New South Wales

If you like a taste of the Outback that is closer to home, Broken Hill Tourist Park is the place for you. With captivating landscapes to die for, lush sunsets and clear nights under stars, it’s hard not to fall in love with the place.

If you are a lover of art, there are also 30 art galleries showcasing works inspired by Broken Hill. Silverton is also nearby, where many movies have been set, including Mad Max 2, The Adventures of Priscilla, and Mission Impossible 2. Baz Luhrmann also filmed a section of Australia in Broken Hill.  



Millaa Millaa, Queensland

If you are looking for beautiful waterfalls, look no further than Millaa Millaa Falls. Not only does Millaa Millaa have amazing waterfalls, it is also home to Queensland’s highest mountain, Mt. Bartle Frere.

With stunning scenery and an amazing mountainous backdrop, Millaa Millaa Falls is one of the most photographed places in all of Australia–making it the perfect place to get that Instagram-worthy photo and relax in one of the best places in the world.

Port Fairy, Victoria

If you are a fan of stunning coastal scenery, flourishing gardens, beaming lighthouses and an abundance of birdlife and rock formations, then Port Fairy is the best place for you to camp.

The place is full of rich history and wide streets filled with nineteenth century cottages. It’s also home to lots of native animals in the wild, including everything from southern right whales, seals, and dolphins to wallabies, kangaroos, and emus.

Bright, Victoria

If you would like to camp during Autumn, look no further than Bright, a town in Victoria. Bright is famous for its wineries and fall foliage, which creates memorizing autumn colours. It’s also close to Mount Buffalo National Park and Alpine National Park.

During this time the Bright Autumn Festival is on, celebrating the gorgeous autumnal display. Delany Avenue and Cobden Street, near Ireland Street, are great spots to fully appreciate the Bright Festival’s autumn colours.

The Blue Mountains, New South Wales

The Blue Mountains (pictured above and below) is a stunning natural spectacle that is worth the trip, however far it may be. There is plenty to do here for those wanting to explore the World Heritage-listed area a little more adventurously.

The Blue Mountains is located just southwest of Sydney, covering an area of over 1,400 square kilometers. I know, it’s massive! If driving from Sydney to travel to the Blue Mountains, it will take you about an hour and a half, but you can also catch the train, which will only take you just over two hours.

There are plenty of outdoorsy activities to enjoy in the Blue Mountains, so why not head to Centennial Glen Stables and go on a horseback riding tour on a sunset ride with great views along a variety of trails. Trail rides go for 2-5 hours, depending on what you sign up for.

There are plenty of camping spots in Australia; these are just a few of the amazing places on offer! Remember–camping is a great way to recharge and relax. Be sure to research and get out there to create those memorable adventures that will stay with you for a lifetime.


Become an UndiscoveredWanderings Guest Poster! We always enjoy hearing from our readers and welcome you to send us your travel stories through our Share Your Travels page. We’ll always publish under your name. Your contributions help make UndiscoveredWanderings possible.

Abandoned Buildings Meet Nature Trail

An Unusual–Yet Brilliant–Combination

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Many thanks to Friends of the Outlet, Inc., who maintain the Keuka Outlet Trail, and who kindly assisted UndiscoveredWanderings in putting this article together.

We love a good nature trail, especially one that’s different from the rest. The Keuka Outlet Trail in New York’s Finger Lakes Region is, for all intents and purposes, your average trail……just kidding; we doesn’t cover “average”. Actually, this trail’s claim to fame is what’s along it: abandoned buildings.

And they blend in perfectly with the scenery.



So why abandoned buildings? Simply put, they’re icons from another era. The Outlet Trail is a seven-mile pathway from Pen Yann to Dresden, NY–right between Keuka and Seneca Lakes. Its location along what was once the Fall Brook Railroad and, before that, the Crooked Lake Canal gives you a peak into the trail’s industrial roots. It was once dotted with small businesses, including a mill. The remnants of some of these legacies of industry are clearly visible along the trail today, showing their age with decay and overgrown vegetation that would make any urban explorer or Walking Dead fan overjoyed. We’re not gonna lie–it’s really cool!

Although hikers are not allowed in the buildings for safety reasons, you can clearly see into them from the main footpath. Adding to the allure of urban decay is the scenery around it. Traces of canal locks and walls give the Outlet Trail an iconic beauty that is rarely seen. The best abandoned structures are located on the side closest to the Dresden, NY entrance.

The Outlet Trail is partially paved, but still accommodates for all seasons, including winter (snowshoers and cross-country skiers enjoy it). You can also bike it. We recommend visiting in late summer or early fall for the best views and weather. The Trail is open from dusk until dawn each day. Please stay on the trail and obey all signage.

Oh–and in the summertime, there’s an ice cream stand near the trail’s end in Dresden. Yum!

LINKS
Learn more about the Outlet Trail


We always enjoy hearing from our readers and welcome you to send us your travel stories through our Share Your Travels page. We’ll always publish under your name. Your contributions help make UndiscoveredWanderings possible.

Lakewood Heritage Center

These Buildings Are a Little Displaced (But That’s a Good Thing)

Special thanks to the Lakewood Heritage Center for their help with this article.

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The Denver Metro Area is growing at a rapid pace, but it hasn’t forgotten its roots. We were pleasantly surprised, as we enjoyed a stroll through Belmar Park last summer, to find a number of old and even older buildings that were remarkably well preserved. 

Officially, we had wandered onto the grounds of the Lakewood Heritage Center, which borders the Park. Lakewood is a burgeoning suburb of Denver with its own unique history. The Heritage Center–originally known as Belmar Village when it was founded in 1976–has worked hard to preserve some of the original farm buildings built on this land in the early 20th century.



But then there are the other buildings, like the diner, that seem oddly out of place. Those came later…and they were built somewhere else. The Heritage Center, like the City of Lakewood, has grown since its inception, and now incorporates a number of artifacts, large and small, to document the history of this fascinating part of the country. 

Belmar Park also happens to be exceptionally beautiful with lots of trails and pathways. A perfect combination of outdoor fun and exploring.

You know how we love to step back through time at UndiscoveredWanderings. This one you can’t miss.

Links
Lakewood Heritage Center
City of Lakewood, Colorado
Belmar Park

Travel & Dating: Some Ideas For the Unconventional

A UWanderings Reader Shares Her Perspective on Hiking and Dating

A very special thanks to one of our readers, Sally Perkins, who graciously offered her insights into combining hiking and dating. Sally is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family, and traveling as much as possible. Sally also writes for Backpackerverse. You can read her other article about prepping for a hike by clicking the link immediately following this article. As she explained to us:

“Whether it’s a first date or a wedding anniversary, hiking can be a wonderfully romantic way to spend time with someone…”

Sally was kind enough to share her thoughts about hiking and dating from a woman’s perspective, and today offers suggestions for those in the Bay Area and SoCal. Pay attention, guys! Since we’ve covered a lot of California lately, and since summer’s around the corner, her contribution couldn’t have come at a better time. Thank you, Sally! 

Two Hiking Trails That Know What a Lady WantsBy Sally Perkins

Cute animals, wine, and a romantic hike – it doesn’t take an expert on women to know that these are the elements of a perfect date. With its extraordinary wildlife, vast wineries, and gorgeous scenery, California is the perfect state for a date spot. Here are two different hiking trails in the sunny state that will put you up close with animals, nature, and wine to create the perfect romantic date for any couple.

Freemont Older Open Space Preserve 

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A 763-acre open space preserve, Freemont Older is the perfect destination for a romantic hike. With incredible views of the oak studded hillsides of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Freemont Older is home to many native animals such as bobcats, coyotes, deer, and bird species. If these animals aren’t cute enough to make your date say “Aww”, the horses of the park are sure to. The preserve borders the Garrod Farm Stables to give you and your date an up close and personal experience with some of their horses. You can even ride one through the trails if you’d prefer.

Regardless of whether you hike on two feet, or are assisted by a four-legged friend, you will start the trail in the Cooper Garrod Estate Vineyards parking lot and end in the tasting room. The grand finale will have you tasting their wine and even munching on a mini buffet. Wine, horses, food, and romantic views – What more could a girl want?

Malibu Wine Hikes 

Directions

Located in Malibu, California, just thirty minutes from Los Angeles, you and your date can sign up for a hike through the Malibu Vineyard and Saddlerock Ranch for a day filled with precious animals, breathtaking scenery, delicious wine, and ultimately romance. You can choose between a group hike or a private hike to fit your needs. The 2.5-mile hike is classified as an easy to moderate hike and will take you about two hours to complete. Therefore, you should wear clothing that is comfortable to do a light workout in, and make sure you have proper footwear as closed-toed shoes are mandatory.

Your romantic hiking trip will take you through the Saddlerock Ranch where you can meet the animals that live there. These exotic animals include zebras, camels, alpacas, and bison. You can even meet Hollywood’s retired superstar, Stanley the Giraffe. As part of your hike, you can feed Stanley and maybe even ask for his autograph. After you’ve worked up a sweat on your hike, you will go to the Malibu Wine Tasting Room to taste a flight of five different wines. Grab a spot on the lawn or pull up a chair at a table to enjoy the beautiful wine, weather, and scenery.

From animals to wine, and incredible scenery, these hikes will be sure to have your women falling in love with the area, and ultimately, falling in love with you.

Learn how to get prepared for your hiking date: tips, prep ideas and more!


We always enjoy hearing from our readers and welcome you to send us your travel stories through our Share Your Travels page. Your contributions help make UndiscoveredWanderings possible.

Photo credit: Austin Neill. Point Dume, Malibu, United States. Used under Creative Commons Zero License.

Top of California: Crescent City

NorCal, Times Two

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Special thanks to the Crescent City Harbor District and Del Norte County Chamber of Commerce for assisting UWanderings with this article.

As we made our way through California last summer, we couldn’t wait to get to the aptly named Del Norte County. Located in California’s far northwest, right on the coast and just below Oregon, this area is famous for its jagged coastline and fantastic views. When you hear the words “Northern California”, your first thought might be San Francisco or San Jose, but Del Norte is a good four-hour drive north of Silicon Valley. It’s a beautiful drive up to this remote oasis, especially if you take Route 101 through the redwood forests. There’s nothing else like it on the planet. Seriously.



After a pleasant drive through unfamiliar terrain, we finally made it to Crescent City.

Crescent City is small
, and at first glance resembles, as one local explained to us, an “Alaskan fishing village” more than a typical California city. Its location puts it in rough waters, jagged and cliff-filled coastlines, and a cool climate, where 75 degrees is considered a heat wave, even in August. It’s windy, rain comes and goes, but that doesn’t stop the masses of tourists, backpackers, fisherman, outdoor adventurists, and wanderers from visiting. In fact, that’s exactly what brings them here. Crescent City attracts people from all over the world, visitors and residents alike. The reason we heard most: it’s the best place for the outdoors. No surprise there: plenty of outdoors in this neck of the woods…and there’s a lot of woods! And yes, CC is near the famous redwood tree that you can drive through. 

The most famous place in Crescent City? The harbor (right), which thrives on commercial fishing. Fishing is a way of life here, including at the Gold River Lodge just 20 miles south in Klamath, which we stumbled upon by chance.

The harbor is a must see for visitors looking for amazing views and exploring–no, experiencing–a place with so few equals in the world. If you’re lucky, you’ll meet the local sea lions, who hang out on their very own dock in the middle of the harbor. They were nice enough to say hello to us when we visited (video below). 



The beach may be chilly, and the water’s not so warm for swimmers, but a walk along the beach will clear your head and make your trip feel complete. In a strange way, it felt like the best possible terminus for our cross-country road trip, since we drove all the way from New York. What a difference! With giant boulders sticking out of the coastal waters, you might be on the beach, but you also might be on some alien world on the other side of the galaxy, especially at sunset. That’s how different and unmatched this place is. The background noise from the waves crashing onto the giant rocks and driftwood resting on the beach is oddly relaxing. We knew Crescent City would be different from most places we’ve seen, but it is truly an Undiscovered Wandering, a title we give to places that are so offbeat, so interesting, that we award it with the hope that everyone visits someday.

So why does this part of California still seem unknown to the mainstream tourist? Maybe because it’s a little out of the way, or because it’s not a big “California city”. Yet for those who endeavor to find a place more foreign, more unique, more unconventional and even unexplored, Crescent City is waiting for you.



There’s so much more to see, but we don’t want to spoil it for you. We’ll leave you with some snapshots to give you a taste. But these pictures don’t do Crescent City justice–you have to visit for yourself to truly appreciate little corners of the Earth like this!

With the breathtaking scenery, endless outdoor options, friendly people and, yes, the sea lions, it’s easy to understand why so many people are proud to call Crescent City and the land of Del Norte home.